Let us consider an example. You see pictures on the Internet of people having sex on a toilet. The owner of this website might say that this is legal, but someone who is not a lawyer would say that this is illegal. Would you really want to visit such websites if you were a legal representative?
Another example is stealing. On the Internet, it is easy to steal things that are not on the property. A couple of years ago, I downloaded something onto my husband’s desktop that he had not downloaded. We ended up having a civil discussion about it because he had already paid for the software. Of course, he had no idea what was happening, and when I showed him how it happened, he told me it was completely against policy and had not been authorized by him.
A few years ago, I got into a very interesting situation with a former student. While she was completing her final exam, she put a virus on her laptop, which caused it to malfunction, and set off an investigation by the university. What is legal but unethical? Well, she knew that viruses could be used against her, and she probably would have been better off if she hadn’t taken the laptop in the first place.
Another example of what is legal but unethical behavior is spamming. For many people, spamming is considered a bad habit. It is annoying and often hurts your inbox. But, at the same time, there is nothing wrong with spamming as long as the user does not violate any laws. Therefore, it is perfectly acceptable to send unsolicited emails.
What is illegal, however, is spamming. Many people use spam to send out electronic newsletters, product announcements, sales promotions and more. These types of promotions are considered spam. The penalties for spamming can range from a small fine to large fines, so it is important to be aware of what is legal and what is not when it comes to spamming. Most importantly, do not ever respond to any unsolicited email.
What is illegal, however, is a misrepresentation of products or services. If you advertise a product, service or affiliate program in an email that is forwarded by another party, then you are probably being deceptive. This type of deceptive marketing is also illegal, but it often takes an attorney to prove it. In general, misrepresentation of a product or service is what is considered to be unethical behavior.
There are many other what is legal but unethical behaviors. Unsolicited emails, spamming and misrepresentation are just a few of them. For some people, the line between what is legal and what is illegal is not easily to draw. An attorney can help you better understand the boundaries between ethical and illegal behavior.
The first step you should take if you find yourself in a situation where you are wondering what is legal but unethical behavior is to consult with a professional Internet lawyer. Most attorneys will not allow Internet activities to be litigated in court, as it is too complex for them to understand. However, there are some Internet lawyers who know about how Internet cases should be handled. In most cases, they will be able to stop or reduce any unethical behavior that you may experience.
Even though there are what is legal but unethical examples on the Internet every day, it is still possible to find some good information. You should not allow yourself to be tricked into thinking that it is perfectly fine to do whatever you want. Spam law is very complicated and it can be easy to make a mistake. As an example, it is illegal to send unsolicited bulk emails, but it is perfectly acceptable to send a greeting card or business email to your own clients. Legally, you must remain within the scope of what is legal, but many of the rules are not greyed out because they are so vague that they often do not apply.
In the final analysis, you need to decide what is legal but unethical behavior for yourself or your company. For example, spamming is against the law, but not likely to get you thrown in jail. On the other hand, writing to your boss or customers is probably perfectly fine. However, if you begin to use unethical methods such as creating multiple email accounts, it is probably not wise to tell your boss or even the general public. If you run into situations where you have questions about what is legal and unethical, consult a qualified attorney. Internet law is constantly changing and it can be very confusing.